Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Sienna's first trail ride :)

So spent Sat trailer-training my pony. On the trailer, eat, off the trailer. On the trailer, eat, off the trailer. Rinse and repeat. hahaha got to where I could get her on by myself np, but couldn't *quite* get around to do up the bum chain in time... Figure that's ok -- worst case I could rig a lunge line around her :)

Anyways -- between the trailer training and testing new saddles, I didn't actually *ride* said horse for very long on Sat. So fast-forward to Sunday. I wanted to go trail riding w/ some others (it *really* sucks being @ a barn w/ NO hacking. But really there are very few farms that have any hacking w/in an hour of home so such is life). Anyways -- plan is to go trail riding. On my 4yo horse. Who has never been on a trail. And was barely ridden yesterday. On a cool windy day. hmmmm

So I got smart and decided I'd lunge her before we went anywhere. Bring her in from the field and she's bouncing. Spinning in x-ties -- seriously reverting back to what she was like @ Denny's. N I'm thinking "so who told you today was any different from any other day?" sheesh. But I had allowed time for this so we went outside to lunge and there were other horses working so that's all good too. Both directions, w and w/o sidereins (sidereins are still very new to her and I only use them on the rare occasion that I'm planning to lunge but not ride until she's a little stronger). Anyways -- she was going really well so I took said sidereins off and hopped her over a little fence a few times. Not *quite* sure what to do w/ that @ first but she got the hang of it. But omg is it ever a jump and a half. Sheesh. No wonder we get quite the commentary from the audience when we're jumping >;-P hahaha and lunging her over the barrel jump (not jumping the barrels, but rather the barrels as wings for a vert) -- well that was an experience to watch. But -- she did it. And she got consistently better the more she did it. So that's a good sign. But I have to admit it was nice *not* having to ride out the first few attempts. hahaha We finished playing outside and she was still ummmm alert *g* but at least the edge was off. Gave her a little break and a chance for some hay and water...

While Si was chilling I went to make sure everything was packed and ready to go in the truck (this being a *little* superfluous since I knew fully well it was packed, but had to do *something* while Si was relaxing -- hovering outside her stall wouldn't've been conductive to the whole experience). Then it was time to see what she remembered from yesterday and sure enough, after only the tiniest hesitation she walked on like the pro she is :) Woohoo! Step one accomplished.

Drive to the farm where we're meeting up -- belongs to a friend-of-a-friend so I'd never actually been there before OR met the girl whose farm it was, so was a *little* apprehensive driving up the driveway, just hoping the directions I'd been given were accurate! hahaha Esp as I beat the others there. But GoogleEarth had been involved so I had hope :) And sure enough, when I pulled in the girl who came out to meet the trailer had been expecting us :) Since I was the first one there I had time to pull Si off the trailer and let her see the world before the others got there. She was pretty content to graze so all was well.

After the others arrived and we were getting organized, I hoped on Si which put an abrupt end to the grazing. She's still not *quite* comfortable enough w/ a rider up to graze. Ah well -- hopefully by show season :) Anyways this rather large farm dog comes out to investigate; Si's proven to be pretty dog-proof in the past so I wasn't too concerned. But then her reaction surprised me -- nope she wasn't spooky or spinny about it -- she was aggressive. Like lead-mare, ears-pinned-flat-back-watch-what-comes-next aggressive. So I had to yell at the dog to go away cause he just wasn't getting it. Fortunately his owner DID get it and she came and took him away *g* So much for my prey animal. Sheesh :)

So we have four horses heading out on the trail on a cool, sunny, spring day. Two are old hands at the trail thing, but haven't been ridden in quite some time; one is still pretty green and on his first ride of the year, and Sienna. hahaha great combination :) But when it came down to it, it actually worked out. Si very much likes to be in the front :) Most of the time anyways *g* And we had a power-walk I'd give just about anything for in the dressage ring! hahaha so the first time we met cyclists she grew an extra hand but was really good about it (we weren't in front then thankfully so she had a calm example to watch). By the third time we met cyclists she wasn't even acknowledging their presence. Seriously. hahaha I love my pony :) Going over the bridge, the lead horse faltered and she just marched on over. Kids bouncing on the trampoline and playing on the swing definitely caught her attention but only a slight jog past them and all was good. Dogs, squirrels, chipmunks, birds all no problem. Climbing over the gates where the trail meets the road was also fine (yeah XC!)

So what wasn't fine? Snow. Snow was not fine. Every time there was a little patch of white on the hill it had to be thoroughly snorted at and shied away from. Now given that I tend to have the same reaction to snow, I can't really blame her for that *g* hahaha What else wasn't fine? Windchimes. Windchimes clearly signal the arrival of demons. I actually liked these particular windchimes but Miss Si was pretty disturbed by them. Fortunately for me, neither of these is likely to be an issue on XC. The only one that will be is the shadow thrown by signs. The signs themselves were no problem, but the shadows -- now those are pretty suspicious. Unfortunately in my mind those shadows look an awful lot like those cast by jump flags. hmmmm Tricky. hahaha Ah well, she'll have other things to think about then >;-P

Now I have to say, I took her to a strange location and headed out on the trail, but she *definitely* got that when we turned around we were heading home, AND she knew where home was (ie where to turn off the trail to get back to the trailer). That was a little disconcerting. Am very quickly going to have to find trails that loop around instead of straight out and straight back... Or, you know, cross-country courses where you can go anywhere! hahaha not getting desperate there at all eh? Soon enough!


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